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Best PC Gaming Wireless Routers 2017

Updated on February 14, 2017

While gaming you want to be able to have complete control over as many aspects of the game as you can. In order to accomplish this gamers go out, buy an expensive rig, an input lag free monitor, but forget about one of the most important details - getting a good wireless router for gaming.

We've all experienced the lag that comes from either poor ISP or router performance and while we certainly can't control what our ISP does, the router you purchase might have more of an impact on avoiding lag than you might believe.

In this post I'll give you our picks for the ten best wireless routers for gaming under $200 and under $100. Also be sure to check out our interactive poll, learning guide, and help section for improving your wireless signal.

Choosing the Right Router for Gaming

Router Terms to Know

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the rate at which data is transferred through a single cable. For the purposes of this post bandwidth should be viewed more as the speed you're getting from your ISP.

Throughput

Throughput is one of the most important measurements when considering your router as it tells you your router's signal speeds or what's really getting through.

Antennas

While in the past you almost always saw routers with antennas on the outside, today most manufacturer's are installing internal antennas to give routers a more sleek look and feel. Today's routers generally come with 2x2 up to 4x4 antennas. The first number corresponds to the amount of receiving antennas and the second corresponds to the amount of sending antennas. For example, at 150 Mbit/s we get 600 Mbit/s x sending and receiving with a 4x4 antenna. Manufacturer numbers for specifications can sometimes be confusing

Intelligent QOS

Some routers today have been coined as gaming routers; however, this has come to mean that they come with Intelligent QOS or quality of service. This simply means that these routers analyze your wired and wireless traffic, separate it into various data streams, and then give priority to your more delay sensitive data. This is especially useful for streaming data like videos, music, VoIP, and gaming. If you don't have a lot of different data streams, then this particular feature may not be as important to you.

Single vs. Dual Band

Routers operate under two frequency bands, 2.4 Ghz and 5.0 Ghz. N routers can operate under either of these frequencies and dual band routers can send information through both of them at the same time. Because your street is most likely clouded with 2.4Ghz signals coming from routers, iPads, Smart Phones, cordless phones, baby monitors, blue tooth devices and even microwaves it's best to use the 5.0GHz frequency for gaming in order to get better throughput.

Netgear Nighthawk AC1900
Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

5 Good PC Gaming Wireless Routers for the Money 2017

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900

If you play on a gaming laptop or rely on a wireless connection for your house, then the following routers are what I'd recommend for the best experience. That being said if you mostly use an ethernet wall connection, or have a smaller house, then some of these I'd consider more than what you actually need.

My Thoughts on the NETGEAR Nighthawk

If you're serious about PC gaming or just want a lag-free connection, then the nighthawk is one of the better options on the market. It has the world's fastest WiFi with up to 600 + 1300Mbps and is the first router to use Gigabit WiFi. In addition to this it has other good gaming features for more reliable connections like Simultaneous dual band, Advanced QoS, and Beamforming for speed boosts and better reliability.

ASUS RT-AC66U Dual-Band Wireless-AC1750 Gigabit Router - Another Good Gigabit Option

Asus RT-AC66U Dual Band Gigabit Router
Asus RT-AC66U Dual Band Gigabit Router

Over the last couple of years Asus has really been moving solidly into the router market. The Asus RT-AC66U, now a couple of years old, delivers rates of up to 1.75Gbps or 3 x 802.11n speeds. Additional technical specifications include a 1 Gigabit WAN Port, IPv6 support, VPN support, and 2 USB 2.0 support for additional file or printer sharing.

Final Impression:

For around $150 it's still expensive, but relatively less compared to other Gigabit options.

How to Speed up Your Wireless Signal - 7 Tips

  1. Move Your Router - sometimes there is simply too much in the way for a router to work where you have it. Trying alternate locations can help you get a better signal.
  2. Change the Channel - When you initially setup your router it chooses a channel. Usually this channel is the best one available, but after a while the channel can get crowded a bit. Don't leave it to chance. PC Magazine recommends you use a program like InSSIDer.
  3. Update your Router and Adapter Firmware
  4. If you have a router that supports an external antenna, you may be able to upgrade it.
  5. Get a different ISP - Check your local area for faster internet connections.
  6. Clean up your computer - Malware can often cause problems to not only the speed of your computer, but also lag your internet connection.
  7. Make sure your wireless internet is protected with a password to avoid unwanted bandwidth theft.

Router Interactive Poll

What's the Best Router Manufacturer?

See results

Related Technology Posts and Information

Interested in technology and electronics? Also see my post on the best tablets for the money in 2017.

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      Enola 2 years ago

      i was wondered where to find the anodtiidal log on information required. I was totally confused when I tried to connect my new laptop to the wireless. my router was not in the warranty , So the router people did not help me. but your Guide was there to help me. It was good experience.

    • profile image

      Zalia 2 years ago

      Thanks ! You made it easy !I was trying to coencnt on one of my old laptop. When I search for the SSID, I did not find my network. I got the same message windows can not configure this wireless network First I called my Internet service provider, they transferred me to router manufacturer.They did not help me as my router was out of warranty.Finally I tried your Easy Guide and got coencnted in few minutes.Few steps and booooom ! coencnted !

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Your suggestion#5, get a new ISP, is completely irrelevant to the subject of increasing wireless signal. The wireless signal, wi-fi is independent of the ISP and is completely a function of your router. Re positioning the router however is a great idea, For most people simply getting their router as high as possible will really help a lot. keeping a router on the floor, a table or desktop is usually not the best option. Put it on a high shelf, or on top of a tall piece of furniture.

      Also try to put it where you get the least obstructed path to your client.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Jimmy did u even read the article or juat go right to the comments? Its literally tells what's special about them throught it.